Mission: The Global Justice Center promotes peace, justice, and security around the globe by advocating for the enforcement of international laws aimed at protecting human rights and promoting gender equality.
About the Organization: GJC was founded — and is still led — by Janet Benshoof, a human rights and constitutional law expert. Benshoof, who received a MacArthur Fellowship in 1992 in support of her work, created the center at a moment in the international human rights field when decades of advocacy had produced treaties and laws but few mechanisms to implement and enforce them. In the years since, GJC staff have used “creative lawyering” to enforce international laws that are universally accepted as binding on all states.
GPJ promotes a “power, not pity” model of justice based on the beliefs that gender parity under the law is essential to global security, justice, and prosperity for all; that discriminatory political and legal systems which fail to enforce human rights or ensure equal protection for women must be challenged; and that progressive interpretation and enforcement of international law is a powerful catalyst for social and structural change as well as necessary to establish a global “rule of law.”
The center’s past activities include training judges of the Iraq High Tribunal on how to use international human rights laws to address gender-based crimes; ensuring that Burma be listed as a violator country for the use of sexual violence in conflict in the UN Secretary-General's first-ever report to the Security Council on Resolution 1820; equipping women leaders in Colombia with advocacy techniques to get the government to ensure equal participation in the transitional justice process and access to reparations; developing legal arguments on the role of the United Nations Security Council as the ultimate enforcer of international humanitarian law; and instructing the council on how to strengthen its role in the enforcement of international humanitarian law.
Current Programs: The center’s programs are organized under a multiyear plan called the Geneva Initiative which is designed to challenge embedded political and legal structures that hinder the changes necessary for building a global, equality-based rule of law. Under the umbrella of the initiative, GJC currently focuses its efforts in five areas: the August 12th campaign (named for the anniversary of the Geneva Conventions), which works to ensure the right to safe abortion for women and girls raped in armed conflict; Rape as a Weapon of War, which aims to make states accountable for the use of rape as a prohibited weapon of war; UN Advocacy, the rubric for the center’s efforts to ensure enforcement of UN Security Council resolutions related to women and civilian protection issues; Genocide, which focuses on illegal (under international law) discrimination against women, specifically the recent abductions, forced marriage, and religious conversion of girls by ISIS and Boko Haram; and Burma, the center’s country-specific effort to ensure justice for all citizens, women’s rights, an end to ethnic conflict, and justice for all citizens in that Southeast Asian country.
Website: Visitors to GJC site can view information about the five focus areas described above, as well as past projects in Sudan, Iraq, Colombia, Sierra Leone, and Kyrgyzstan; and download advocacy resources, briefs and white papers, and letters and CJG-created reports submitted to the United Nations. The site also links to the GJC blog, which includes audio and video files and a donate page for individuals that currently features a 3:1 match.
Funding: The Global Justice Center receives support from foundations and individual donors.